VOLUME 44 NUMBER 04 JUL|AUG 18
Hands-on learning at the new Bell Museum
Gathering spaces by a midcentury master
JUL|AUG 18 $3.95 architecturemn.com
A VISIT WITH DULUTH MAYOR EMILY LARSON RENOVATION DIRECTORY
Directory of Renovation, Remodeling, Restoration architecturemn.com
Getting It Wright
A Frank Lloyd Wright–designed studio, renewed
THE STATE FAIR AT TWILIGHT
Architecture MN is a publication of The American Institute of Architects Minnesota architecturemn.com
Architecture MN, the primary public outreach tool of the American Institute of Architects Minnesota, is published to inform the public about architecture designed by AIA Minnesota members and to communicate the spirit and value of quality architecture to both the public and the membership.
Features 19 Experiential Learning Minnesota architects design a natural history museum and a leading-edge high school to support immersive, hands-on learning.
ON THE COVER Lovness Estate Grant Township, Minnesota “Seeing the Lovness Estate emerge from the fog for the first time was magical in every sense,” says photographer Troy Thies. “What struck me most was that, while this historic building had been reverently brought back to life, it had simultaneously become a warm and livable home for its new owners.”
Bell Museum page 20 By Joel Hoekstra
Pathways Innovation Center and Roosevelt High School page 26 By Amy Goetzman
32 Getting It Wright By Linda Mack
In 1955, an adventurous Minnesota couple built a Frank Lloyd Wright–designed studio residence in Grant Township. Sixty years later, another husband-and-wife team undertook a meticulous renovation of the home.
38 Gathering Spaces By Frank Edgerton Martin Photography by Pete Sieger
“In the decades after World War II,” writes Frank Edgerton Martin, “architect Edward Sövik developed a humane modernism for worship and performance that resonated nationwide—nowhere more so than in Northfield, Minnesota, where he practiced for a half-century.”
JUL| AUG 18
Departments & Directories 5 9
EDITOR’S NOTE CULTURE CRAWL BY AMY GOETZMAN The new Bell Museum opens in July with learning activities ranging in focus from the microscopic to the cosmic.
10 TOWN TALK
INTERVIEW BY JOEL HOEKSTRA “Design has a huge influence on people’s emotional connections to their city,” says Duluth mayor Emily Larson in a wide-ranging conversation. STUDIO Cuningham Group Architecture transforms its Minneapolis headquarters just in time for its 50th-anniversary celebration.
MATERIAL WORLD BY ANDY STURDEVANT The natural science of the new Bell Museum’s thermally modified white-pine cladding is pure Minnesota. WAYFARER BY ERIC MUELLER A traveling Minneapolis photographer captures an active pedestrian environment along the Huangpu River in Shanghai.
DIRECTORY OF RENOVATION, REMODELING, RESTORATION
BY ERNESTO RUIZ-GARCIA, AIA A twilight take on the Minnesota State Fair has us feeling nostalgic about this year’s gathering before it even happens.
Linear steel base vanity, $3599; Infinity mirrors, $ 449 each; Howard pendants, $349 each. 7010 France Avenue South, Edina roomandboard.com
Introducing our new bath collection
Malini Srivastava, AIA 2018 Young Architects Award
Angela Wolf Scott, AIA 2018 Young Architects Award
Joan Soranno, FAIA 2018 Edward S. Frey Award
NATIONALS When a top award is announced at a televised event like the Oscars or the VMAs, the reactions of the other entertainers in the room tell you everything. It’s all in their eyes. If the name in the envelope is a beloved or breakthrough artist, eyes beaming on regular celebrity power suddenly flash megawatts of genuine emotion. We at Architecture MN have experienced a few of those electric moments recently, first when Snow Kreilich Architects won the 2018 AIA National Firm Award (previous issue) and later when three consummate Minnesota architects received individual AIA National accolades. For those of our readers who haven’t yet heard, Malini Srivastava, AIA, and Angela Wolf Scott, AIA, took home two of the 18 national Young Architects Awards, and Joan Soranno, FAIA, was honored with the national Edward S. Frey Award for her celebrated work in the field of religious architecture.
INTERACT & CONNECT
Bell Museum woolly mammoth @archmnmag
Amber Sausen at the Guthrie Theater @archmnmag
A conversation with top young architects architecturemn.com/videos
The Young Architects Award spotlights “individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers,” and Srivastava and Wolf Scott have each done so in a critically important facet of architecture. Wolf Scott, a principal at MacDonald & Mack Architects and a leader in historic preservation, has guided the stewardship and renewal of some of Minnesota’s most significant buildings. Srivastava has made her mark in sustainable design. She leads DandELab, a collaboration between NDSU, the City of Fargo, and two local utilities that aims to reduce energy use in municipal and residential buildings. Soranno, a design principal at HGA Architects and Engineers, isn’t a breakthrough talent—she and her work with John Cook, FAIA, have won numerous awards—but it’s no less a thrill to see her receive this recognition. Projects including the Walker Art Center entry pavilion, Marlboro Music Cottages, Lakewood Garden Mausoleum, and Bigelow Chapel at United Theological Seminary speak to the reach of her design skills. These honors really struck a chord with us because we’ve seen how deeply engaged these three talented architects are with their clients and collaborators. They represent the very best of the Minnesota design community.
@archmnmag Christopher Hudson, Hon. AIAMN
Lake Leader Mayor Emily Larson on Duluth’s unique blend of built and natural environment—and on efforts to expand the city’s ongoing revitalization INTERVIEW BY JOEL HOEKSTRA
Emily Larson was five years old when she first dipped a toe in Lake Superior and fell in love with Duluth. It was the summer of 1978, and her family had traveled north via passenger train from their home in St. Paul to spend a few days’ vacation in the famed port city. Larson collected rocks on the beach and recalls getting ice cream at a soda fountain. “Duluth, at the time, was not an inspiring city—it was gritty and industrial,” says Larson, now in her mid-40s. “But a kid doesn’t notice that stuff. I was swimming in a hotel pool! I was staying up late! Duluth was a magical place.” Her enchantment with Minnesota’s fourth-largest city never wore off. Larson later attended the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Minnesota Duluth, earning degrees in social work. She married Duluth architect Doug Zaun, AIA, and worked for several years at nonprofits serving individuals experiencing homelessness. In 2011, Larson won an at-large seat on the Duluth City Council, and just five years later, in January 2016, she was sworn in as the city’s first female mayor, having won more than 70 percent of the vote. As the city’s top administrator, Larson serves as Duluth’s champion-in-chief, promoting new developments and other changes to the built environment that she believes will position the city for continued success. But she knows that preserving the city’s natural resources is key to Duluth’s future as well. “I stayed because of that lake,” she says. “That’s not an unusual story in Duluth. Lake Superior is its own best advertising.” Here Larson answers some questions about city projects, environmental initiatives, and a neighborhood set to make some big strides. How has Duluth’s built environment changed since you took office in 2016? There were two projects that I inherited as mayor that are truly reflective of the transformation and future of Duluth. The first was the NorShor Theatre. Our community committed to putting $30 million into renovating this beautiful 1910 building as a centerpiece for downtown. It wasn’t being utilized in a way that brought value: Before its most recent closing, it was a strip club. So, the City
ILLUSTRATION BY LUISA RIVERA
of Duluth purchased the structure a few years ago, and this past February it reopened as a venue focused on the creative arts and music. Now it’s the anchor for our growing Historic Arts and Theater District. It has all the grandeur of an old theater—the murals, the grand entrance, the mezzanine—plus all the comforts of a contemporary venue. During an event, it’s a thrill to watch hundreds of people having an amazing time. Much of downtown is under construction. What’s going on? We’re moving forward now with reconstruction on that side of Superior Street. We’re redoing downtown’s central avenue in much the same way that Minneapolis just went through its Nicollet Mall renovation. It’s not just a street project; it’s also infrastructure changes. We’ll have quite a bit of street art, and ideally the changes will create a stronger connection to Lake Superior. Sometimes, when you’re downtown, you don’t quite know the lake is right there. Or if you’re on the lake walk, you don’t know that downtown is nearby. The reconstruction will add more corridors for visual connections. The second big project you inherited was revitalizing the St. Louis River Corridor. Yes. Duluth is about 25 miles long, and about 12 miles runs along the St. Louis River estuary. We’re investing about $50 million in new housing and projects that promote connectivity to the natural world along that corridor—things like cross-country ski trails and footpaths that connect neighborhoods or provide access to the waterfront. There are roughly 20 different projects going on. It’s an area that the EPA once cited for industrial pollution, but we’re slowly changing that. We’re pouring a lot of resources into bringing the river area back to health. As a trail runner, you’ve promoted that project heavily. Duluth is very focused on the natural world. We have 42 creeks that run through the city. About 30 percent of our land is devoted to parks. Some mayors would see that as a detriment, because you can’t tax it or build on it. But I think >> continued on page 48
I N CO L L A B O R AT I O N W I T H R E H K A M P L A R S O N A R C H I T E C T S
CUNINGHAM GROUP ARCHITEC TURE, INC .
An international architecture firm headquartered in Minneapolis celebrates its 50th anniversary with a studio transformation
Comfortable designer chairs just past the reception desk on the top floor attract staff as often as they do visitors.
FAST FACTS FOUNDED: 1968
DID YOU INTEND THE RENOVATION TO ALIGN WITH YOUR MILESTONE? Yes! Over the past six years, all our offices were redesigned to align with our values, the firm’s brand, a dedication to sustainability, and our collaborative culture. REIMAGINING SPACE YOU’VE OCCUPIED FOR DECADES—CHALLENGING, LIBERATING, OR BOTH? Both. The building is a former 1880s mattress factory, and we wanted to keep the character of the brick and timber while creating modern, flexible workspaces. MOST DRAMATIC TRANSFORMATION: Maximizing our location on the Mississippi River by opening up the views throughout the third and second floors. MOST POPULAR SPOTS IN OFFICE: Every kitchen and the collaborative areas along the building edge with views to the city skyline and river. DESIGN INGREDIENTS IN A GREAT COLLABORATION SPACE: Daylight. Functional and comfortable furniture. Air quality. Accessible technology. FAVORITE TECHNOLOGY: ClickShare. DO YOU HOST ANY EVENTS IN YOUR SPACE? Our monthly community forum, Urban Currents, is designed to educate and motivate people to make meaningful change in our communities. We’ve also hosted events for the University of Minnesota and AIA Minnesota, among others. BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT LARGE ARCHITECTURE FIRMS: That we’re too corporate. We’re not! BEST GUESS AT WHAT YOUR WORKSPACE WILL LOOK LIKE 50 YEARS FROM NOW: Daylight and views will still be paramount, but who knows about our city skyline.
CITY AND AREA: Minneapolis’ St. Anthony Main OTHER OFFICES: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, San Diego, Phoenix, Seoul, Beijing, and Doha NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 360 AREAS OF SPECIALTY: Hospitality, restaurants/retail, multifamily housing, workplace, K–12 and higher education, worship
E X P E R I E N T I A L L E A R N I N G Two new educational facilities— one focused on science and natural history, the other on vocational learning— engage both minds and hands Pathways Innovation Center and Roosevelt High School Casper, Wyoming page 26
ASTULA/RAUL J. GARCIA
Bell Museum St. Paul, Minnesota page 20
E X P E R I E N T I A L
L E A R N I N G
The design of the new Bell Museum, and its exhibits, celebrate the diversity of Minnesota’s natural resources
BY JOEL HOEKSTRA
to some, the dozen or so years it took to get the new Bell Museum funded, planned, and built may have seemed like little more than the blink of an eye. But to others, the July opening of the 90,000-square-foot facility in St. Paul, complete with a state-of-theart, 120-seat digital planetarium, is the culmination of a very long journey. For much of the last century, the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History was housed in a 67,000-square-foot building on the University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus in Minneapolis. More than 100 detailed dioramas by Francis Lee Jaques and other wildlife artists drew thousands of curious eyes every year, but as visitor interest and the size of the
Natural historians measure time in epochs rather than minutes. So
museum’s collections grew over time, finding space for exhibits, classrooms, and even museum operations became increasingly difficult. Administrators began lobbying for a new building, and in late 2016, having finally secured funding for the project from the Minnesota Legislature, the Bell Museum of Natural History closed its Minneapolis facility. This summer, it reopens on a fiveacre site on the U’s St. Paul campus, rechristened with a shortened name.
For optimal flow in and out of the museum, the Bell and its architects located the public entry (above) on the west side of the building, off the parking lot, and the entry for busloads of children (left) on the west side.
E X P E R I E N T I A L
L E A R N I N G
Pathways Innovation Center and Roosevelt High School in Casper, Wyoming, let students learn the real-life skills the business world needs BY AMY GOETZMAN
The generation of young people we’re now educating will live and work in a dramatically changed world. So why are we still using 20th-century philosophies, classrooms, and materials to teach them? Colleges and business leaders already say too many students arrive unprepared. While traditional education may not be fully obsolete, it could certainly use a major redesign. The combined Pathways Innovation Center and Roosevelt High School, by Cuningham
Group Architecture, offers an architectural solution to many of the issues facing 21st-century educators. The high schools in Casper, Wyoming, have moved into a new facility that lets students tailor their education to their skills and future career goals. On one side of the building, Roosevelt High School provides its students with flexible, modern spaces for traditional academic studies. On the other, 11th- and 12th-grade Pathways Innovation Center students pursue vocational studies in art, engineering, design and fabrication,
A soaring canopy at the main entry announces the schools’ lofty aspirations—and responds to the scale of the surrounding landscape.
PATHWAYS INNOVATION CENTER AND ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL Location: Casper, Wyoming Client: Natrona County School District Design architect, interior designer, and landscape architect: Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. www.cuningham.com
Informal gathering spaces overlooking the Fabrication Hall give students a taste of the independence they are moving toward.
Principal-in-charge: John Pfluger, AIA Project lead designer: Scott Krenner, AIA Architect of record: MOA Architecture moaarch.com
“In education, we do so much based on test scores, but business doesn’t care about that. Employers are looking for critical-thinking and collaboration skills.”
Energy modeling: Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. General contractor: Groathouse Construction Size: 125,316 square feet Cost: $36,632,500 Completion: April 2016 Photographer: Astula/Raul J. Garcia
ENTRY LEVEL 7 Administration 8 Entry 9 Eat, Meet, and Greet 10 Black Box 11 Gymnasium
1 Lab/Studio 2 Flexible Learning 3 Learning Stair 4 Staff Collaboration 5 Think Tank 6 Café
9 7 2
GETTING IT WRIGHT Â32
VIRGINIA LOVNESS ARCHIVES
Right: Don and Virginia Lovness in the living room with the dining set and coffee table he built. Don was a 3M engineer, and in 1958 the 3M house newsletter did a full-page article on the young couple and their home.
The second owners of a midcentury Frank Lloyd Wrightâ€“designed property near Stillwater, Minnesota, painstakingly bring a Usonian-style studio into the 21st century BY LINDA MACK
COURTESY OF THE ST. OLAF COLLEGE ARCHIVES, NORTHFIELD, MINNESOTA
gathering spaces THE DESIGN PHILOSOPHY OF MIDCENTURY NORTHFIELD ARCHITECT EDWARD SÖVIK THROUGH THE LENS OF TWO OF HIS HOMETOWN PROJECTS
BY FRANK EDGERTON MARTIN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PETE SIEGER
Noted church architect Edward Sövik Jr. believed that people, not architecture, make spaces sacred. Because Christianity was rooted in charity, he reasoned that simplicity in design and materials best expressed the Christian act of gathering. In the decades after World War II, Sövik developed a humane modernism for worship and performance that resonated nationwide—nowhere more so than in Northfield, Minnesota, where he practiced for a half-century. Architecture MN marks the centenary of his birth with a look back at his remarkable life and career.
STUDENT, HERO, ARCHITECT Born in Henan Province in China to Lutheran missionaries in 1918, Sövik first came to Minnesota to enroll at St. Olaf College along with his twin brother and older sister. After graduating from the school in 1939, he enrolled as a painting student at the Art Students League of New York, where Jackson Pollock, soon to be a major figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement, had recently studied. During World War II, Sövik served as a Marine Corps fighter pilot in the Pacific and was awarded a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Flying Cross.
The late Edward Sövik seated in Christiansen Hall of Music’s Urness Recital Hall. His design for this lightfilled space fused festive atmosphere with a deep sense of spirituality.
After the war, Sövik earned an architecture degree from Yale University and returned to Northfield to establish his practice—today’s SMSQ Architects— and teach art at St. Olaf. For the next 50 years, he helped lead the modern movement in Protestant church design and shaped dozens of religious and academic buildings across the country. He died in 2014 at the age of 95. “Ed saw himself as bringing the concepts and principles of modern architecture to church design,” says SMSQ Architects’ Pepe Kryzda, AIA. “He was very confident about the work he was doing.” “He was firm in his ideas and his trajectory, but he was always softspoken,” adds SMSQ’s Gary Johnson, AIA, who worked with Sövik for more than a quarter-century.
Sövik was also a superb writer, contributing to this magazine and dozens of religious journals and conferences. His small book Architecture for Worship, published in 1973, is the most complete and influential summary of his thinking. It still sounds radical today. “Jesus, as everyone knows, didn’t ask his followers to build anything,” he wrote in the opening page. “Worship involves persons, not places. Persons are the temples. They are the holy things.” Sövik argued that the idea of Christian architecture had taken an historic detour beginning in the Age of Constantine in the fourth century. From Byzantine to Romanesque to High Gothic, the eras of rarified and grandiose church architecture continued for 1,600 years.
NORTHFIELD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH In 1964, when Northfield United Methodist Church commissioned Sövik to design a new home for its congregation on the southern edge of town, the architect wrote a series of 12 “Reflections” on the new design for the church’s monthly newsletter. In the third reflection, “The Presence of God,” Sövik wrote that the “most important things in the church are not the communion table, the font, the cross, or the pulpit, but the people.” The focus, he explained, shouldn’t stay on one element or person; it should shift from one space to another, and “sometimes the whole body of believers will be the real center of attention.”